Citizen Kane Top 20 Movies #1

Citizen Kane 1941 Orson Welles

From the amazing pacing and the ground breaking camera use and picture structure, this film stands out for me as my all time favorite.

The quote… “the girl with the white parasol and a month has not gone by where I haven’t thought of that girl” . We all have that moment. For me… It is the year between 8th grade and my first year in high school. The last day of summer vacation. Standing in the yard as my Dad washed the mats from the car. The mats hanging over the fence. I can still see those mats. And that fence. And the feelings I had that day.

Orson Welles was a revelation. To start out on your first attempt and create this. And then to spend the rest of your life never matching what you created . Everyone who sees this should at least read a Bio for Mr. Welles.

Joseph Cotten is perfect as Jedediah The friend and reporter. Dorothy Comingore as the Opera Singer. The girlfriend. Agnes Morehead in her debut. Ruth Warrick as the wife.

The structure of the picture is such that no matter how many times you see it, what comes next is almost always a surprise. And to see Randolph Hearst’s career brought to life, if that what it is, is enlightening to watch.

Great quote… Year’s later during an Interview Orson Welles was asked how anyone would know what Kane’s last words would have been since he died alone.Mr Welles thought for a minute, and replied… “Don’t tell anyone else about this”

For the acting, the story, the camera work (use of deep focus where everything on screen is in focus), the writing. This would make my list. But it is Number one for one reason .

This Film more than any other showed me what Cinema could be. That it went beyond the Casual experience. It was more than a visual experience. It was more than an audio experience. How deep it could be. It was an emotional experience. From the imaginative uses of the camera ( the light in the house never changes position in the opening despite all different shots, the shadow of Kane on the wall Growing smaller as he grows more petty in his conversations), to the different levels the script and story could go in building diferent stories and thoughts within stories. It opened my eyes to what it all could be. Prior to this Fellini put me to sleep, after this he brings me to tears. There is SO MUCH to experience when watching a film. So much life. So many emotions. So much to grow from.

And this film started it all for me.

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One Response to Citizen Kane Top 20 Movies #1

  1. No, Orson Welles never did quite match the artistic or commercial success of Citizen Kane. I am, however, very fond of The Lady from Shanghai. While perhaps not a “great” a film in an objective sense, I did, personally, find it more resonant.

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